Panasonic’s Flagship TV Sets Sail

One of the year’s best-reviewed TVs goes on sale today: Panasonic’s FZ1000U.

It’s an OLED TV with a built-in soundbar as its base but otherwise boasts the same picture quality and specs as the FZ950U that was released last month.

Both are for sale in 55- and 65-inch sizes, but you’re paying a premium for the soundbar: the 65-inch FZ1000U costs $8500 vs $7500 for the 65-inch FZ950U; at $6500, the 55-inch FZ1000U also is $1000 more than the 55-inch FZ950U.

But the extra dosh does also buy you a superior remote control with a metallic fascia and backlit keypad; last year’s premium’s OLED TVs were bundled with the inferior plastic remote control that’s sold with the FZ950U.

And while the FZ1000U is priced higher than comparable OLED TVs from Sony and LG (whereas in the UK it’s cheaper), at least the 65-inch behemoth lands here for $2000 less than last year’s equivalent model.

The FZ1000U’s also earning stellar reviews internationally (where it’s sold under different model numbers). Tech Radar says it “combines superb UHD image quality, including the best HDR performance we’ve yet seen from a Panasonic screen, with a great sound system and attractive design”.

The FZ952 is a luscious OLED that puts performance first. Its colour handling is class-leading, and its HDR talents are a match for any of its rivals. In fact, it just might offer the best picture performance that we’ve seen on a 4K OLED to date.

The FZ952 isn’t the complete package, lacking as it does Dolby Vision and Atmos compatibility, but it wins more arguments than it loses. We suspect you’ll appreciate the easy sophistication of its smart platform, the quality of that low-lag game mode, and the sheer musicality of the Technics soundbar.

And Trusted Reviews dubbed it “a masterclass in picture quality” that’s “better in some respects” than its “jaw-droppingly good” rivals.

What you have here is the best of all the OLED worlds I’ve seen so far in 2018: the Sony AF8’s delicate approach to colour, fine detail and motion, plus the LG C8’s affinity for visual impact, user-friendly software and fast-response gaming. If you’re after an OLED in 2018, I think this is the complete package. Great job, Panasonic.

Like what you see but don’t need a soundbar? Then check out the Panasonic FZ802/FZ800 OLED, which trades the soundbar for a smaller price tag while retaining the same gorgeous picture.

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